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Cabeza de Vaca (1991)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 705 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 6 critic

A handful of survivors from a disastrous 1528 Spanish expedition to Florida journey across the coast until they reach Mexico.

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Title: Cabeza de Vaca (1991)

Cabeza de Vaca (1991) on IMDb 7/10

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Test your knowledge of Cabeza de Vaca.
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juan Diego ...
...
Dorantes
...
Cascabel / Araino
Carlos Castañón ...
Castillo
Gerardo Villarreal ...
Estebanico
Roberto Cobo ...
Lozoya (as Roberto 'Calambres' Cobo)
José Flores ...
Malacosa
Eli 'Chupadera' Machuca ...
Sorcerer
Farnesio de Bernal ...
Fray Suárez
Josefina Echánove ...
Anciana Avavar
Max Kerlow ...
Man in Armor
Óscar Yoldi ...
Esquivel
Ramón Barragán ...
Pánfilo de Narváez
Julio Solórzano Foppa ...
Alcaraz
Javier Escobar Villarreal ...
Young Iguase Indian
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Storyline

An international award winning saga of old Mexico. In 1528, a Spanish expedition founders off the coast of Florida with 600 lives lost. One survivor, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, roams across the American continent searching for his Spanish comrades. Instead, he discovers the Iguase, an ancient Indian tribe. Over the next eight years, Cabeza de Vaca learns their mystical and mysterious culture, becoming a healer and a leader. But soon this New World collides with the Old World as Spanish conquistadors seek to enslave the Indians, and Cabeza de Vaca must confront his own people and his past. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cabeza de Vaca  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$789,127 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The huge figure of a naked man wielding a club which is created by the Indian sorcerer is an accurate representation of the ancient Celtic chalk carving known as the Cerne Abbas Giant, which is 60 metres in height and is located on a hillside overlooking the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England. See more »

Connections

Featured in Conquistadors (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

a journey through the Southwest
11 December 2003 | by (the Southwest) – See all my reviews

In a strange and fantastic film, the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca interacts with American Indians before any other Europeans and becomes integrated into their world before he his torn out of it by the arrival of more Spanish.

To answer a common question . . . Why does Florida look like Arizona in this film? Because it's not Florida. It's not even supposed to be Florida.

The makers of this film (and the makers of this film's packaging) have their facts wrong but their scenery right. Cabeza de Vaca landed in Texas, probably at the site of today's Galveston. That explains the slow-moving, brown water streams and the thick vegetation and mosquitoes. He then walked west or southwest. West Texas and northern Mexico do have semi-desert conditions and modest sized mountains and mesas and some canyons. The real Cabeza de Vaca left Florida on a flimsy raft -- depicted in the film -- hoping to make it to Cuba. Instead, he landed on the Texas gulf coast. I don't know why the filmmakers labeled the landscape as Florida.

This film is odd. It is exceptionally slow paced. There is little intelligible dialogue: lots of grunts or dialogue in indigenous languages (but no subtitles). We are as lost as Cabeza de Vaca. This film is from his point of view, and no explanation for his healing powers is offered. Nor do we receive an explanation of the tribal dynamics (some accept him, some enslave him, another seems to wish to execute him).


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